Celebrating the beautiful human body

In her weekly column titled "Celebrating the Body Beautiful", Regina Lynn reviews a project at the Erotic Museum called "The Human Body Project".  Here is how the Erotic Museum introduces the project:

Media presents us with an abundance of images of people creating an inaccurate picture of who we are as a species. The bodies we see in the media are modified through motion-restricted exercise, restricted diets, the use of paints and dyes and surgical modification. These changes along with the sophisticated use of lighting and digital technology produce images that are far from mankinds true appearance. The links between this misperception and trends in social functioning are only recently becoming fully apparent.

The Erotic Museum is conducting an ongoing research project intent on recording the full breadth of natural and altered human physiology. By creating a massive image database of everyday people of every race, age and size we hope to provide the public with an enduring image of mankind’s actual appearance in all of it’s natural and unnatural forms. The project records natural skin coloration patterns, tattoos, body modifications, common body hair distribution and other characteristics seldom represented in the media. The database of images has been indexed, categorized and cross-referenced with profile data for each individual to be used in an upcoming exhibition in the Self-consciousness exhibit which explores body image and the sense of self.

planned for installation as part of The Human Body Project exhibit are
a collection of videos compiled by Richard Lawrence of Australia that
show a true side of human orgasm. The videos are only a few minutes
each and they show a head and shoulders view of individuals
masturbating in their own homes. These brief portraits give a unique
insight into the emotional transformation that takes place during sex.

This is a really intriguing project and not so much because of the photographs of nude people but more because it reflects our own perceptions and judgments about our bodies and sexuality right back at us.  It seems like a very "in your face" exhibition that forces you to confront and hopefully re-evaluate your views of sex and sexuality.

Regina asks some very valid questions and makes a number of perceptive observations:


Offline …

This morning my mobile phone service provider suspended my service after I hit the credit limit they imposed on my account.  It seems this is a new thing they do and once your bill hits that limit, the system automatically suspends the service.  The annoying thing is that the limit takes into account the next bill payable and the one after that that runs in the meantime.  So, basically, the bill payable at the end of February is $200 (roughly converted for the majority of my readers) and the bill for the end of March (which is currently at around $162 and will continue growing till the end of this billing cycle) are added together and if they exceed my credit limit, my service is automatically suspended.  Presumably my account would be suspended until my account drops below the limit.

Anyway, the point is, I had to call them and point out that I have always paid my bill and this seemingly arbitrary limit they imposed is really throwing a spanner in the works.  They increased the limit to a more manageable level and have queued my account to be restored and that could take a minimum of two hours and a maximum of 24 hours.

Until this point I didn’t really realise how dependent I have become on my phone.  It revives that old question, how did we manage before we have mobile phones?  And, taking it a step further, how will we react to a communications failure or suspension when we become more mobile and our communications systems become ubiquitous?


God in a garden

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G made this for her mom. Very true saying.


dance first, think later, it’s the natural order…

I have started reading a blog called Moleskinerie which is dedicated to the Moleskine notebooks manufactured by the Italian company called Modo & Modo .  Moleskine notebooks have an almost a cult following and I can certainly understand why.  I started using the ruled notebooks for my journals and four completed notebooks later I am still going strong.  I have just bought a squared notebook to use as my idea book (a function previously filled by a thinner version of the Moleskine notebook (released in packs of 3 – I forgot the name for them).

Anyway, I came across this other, very cool looking blog called "dance first, think later, it’s the natural order…" which is a blog with a strong focus on Moleskine notebooks which the author of the blog uses in some pretty spectacular ways.

Below is an example of the kinds of things she does with her moleskine notebooks.  I am in awe!


Daily hangout

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These are images of a spot I frequent during the week over my lunch hour. It is a great bookstore with a coffee shop where you can sit and read and journal to your heart’s content. That happens to be what I do most there.

Events and Life

We’re engaged!

The two of us at our engagement party

Yesterday I mentioned that there was something in my life to be very happy about and this is it.  After a mere 15 months or so together, G and I are engaged to be married early next year.  We are both very excited about this and I am thrilled to have such a beautiful and loving woman as my fiancee and look forward to her becoming my wife.

I wrote the following before I gave her the ring (more on both of these two items below):

May I be a loving husband;
May I be a loyal friend;
May I be a gentle lover;
May I love her well.

In this ever changing world, are there greater gifts a man can give to his wife?

Ok, I am sure that many of you are interested in how I proposed to G yesterday afternoon.  Firstly, it was not a surprise to her that we are going to marry, we had been speaking about it for a little while now.  We went to pick out the ring last at a great jeweller’s shop called Sidersky Jewellers.  We were told that our jeweller would have the ring ready within 10 working days and if we were nice to him he would have it ready by this Saturday.  A couple days ago he informed me that the ring would be ready on Wednesday or Thursday.  I was able to pick up the ring on Thursday afternoon (yesterday).  I picked a very nice bunch of flowers on the way home and started to set everything up for G before she arrived home:

  • I set my DVD player to play a cover of Cindy Lauper’s “Time After Time”, one of G’s favourite songs;
  • I left a note on the floor by the front door instructing her to put everything down there and to go to the coffee table in the lounge;
  • Another note on the coffee table instructed G to press ‘play’ and to open a card I left for her;
  • I was waiting in the next room and when I heard the music playing I came into the room and kissed her;
  • As she was reading the card, I gave her the ring.

I still have something up my sleeve and won’t tell you about that now for obvious reasons.  We are both very very excited and I still don’t think this has really sunk in just yet.

For those looking for a picture of her very beautiful ring, I created a collage with Picasa2: Update: This collage is currently MIA so here is a photo of the ring itself instead:


Star Trek Enterprise Cancelled

STARTREK.COM has reported that Star Trek Enterprise has been cancelled after four seasons.  We haven’t been able to watch Enterprise here in South Africa because we lost the Sci-Fi channel about a year and a half ago.  Still, it was one of my favourite shows and possibly my favourite Star Trek series.  I hope there is another one … please?!


Feeling sad this morning

I am not sure why, I just feel sad this morning.  It started with me waking up at 4:15am or so and not being able to get back to sleep until about 5:30am because of the heat and mosquito flying around me.  It really got going after I sat for a bit before getting dressed for work.  I haven’t been meditating as regularly as I would have liked and decided to sit for a bit this morning.  During my meditation I sensed an anxiety and allowed myself to experience it as I would any other sensation and that seems to have opened a door to a sadness within me.  I am not sure why I am sad today, it will become one of the happiest days in my life (no details now, I will tell all tomorrow if everything goes according to plan today).  As with many things, sometimes all you can do is sit in the feeling and let it be and through awareness of it, pass through it.

It didn’t help to read the news this morning.  Two items on IOL caught my attention and both only deepen my sadness on this beautiful day.  I’ll quote parts of both articles and you will see what I mean.

Toddlers left stranded on Joburg streets

baby lay on the pavement sucking on his bottle, with one hand shielding
his eyes from the hot sun. Toddlers huddled in the shade of a street
vendor’s table. A little girl bent down to wee on the pavement.

This was the disgraceful scene outside a Johannesburg inner-city creche
that was shut down on Tuesday in a continuing crackdown on facilities
breaking safety and health by-laws.

Arriving at the Basa Creche in De Villiers Street on Wednesday and
finding it still closed, parents abandoned their children at the
entrance and demanded that teachers look after them. They said this was
only right, as they had paid their fees.

Parents then went off to work.

‘Children were too tired to play and fell asleep on the pavement’

teachers inside the building would not allow the children to enter. So
a group of about 20 youngsters, ranging in age from one to about four,
were left to fend for themselves on the pavement.
Two-year-olds Patrick and Patricia Ndlovu climbed into The Star’s car
for shade. They began crying when the driver had to leave and they
found themselves back in the sun.
Nosabatha Nqali, three, was sitting on the pavement talking to her
friend, wishing their teacher would bring them something to eat.
"I want to go to school," she said, smiling.
By noon, all the smiles had gone. By then, the children, bubbly and
running around in the morning, were too tired to play and fell asleep
on the pavement.

I know these parents have to work and often don’t have the luxury of a space to keep their children if problems like this occur but how could any parent leave a child so young on the streets of any city, let alone Johannesburg, like that.  Perhaps I don’t understand the parents’ circumstances but it seems to me that this is little more than neglect and disregard for these poor children.  Of course the teachers’ attitude is also disgusting.  To just leave these kids out on the street like this is just as bad, especially for people whose occupation is to take care of these kids.  Let’s not forget the local authorities who should have been there to make sure this didn’t happen.  Very bad behaviour people.  This picture breaks my heart.  Check out the full article for more.

The next article is just as bad, except on a larger scale.